How Long Should You Wait To Get Engaged? Why We Need To Stop “Fast-Shaming” Relationships

How long should you wait to get engaged? With celebrities like Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber, as well as Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson having fairly fast engagements, people are quickly weighing in their opinions. But what right do we really have to say when someone should be engaged? And, the even bigger question, why do we care so much about others engagements if they have nothing to do with us?

Of course, we want to see our friends happy and make sure they are making the right decision. But unless there are red flags needing to be addressed like abuse or something serious, it’s really no one else’s business. How long should you wait to get engaged? It’s different for everyone. While age can certainly have a factor, so does other important things. Things like the amount spent with each other, communication and any test of trials the couple has had. My parents knew each other for one year and have one of the most amazing and beautiful relationships I still today have ever seen. My other friend was engaged at six months. They are going on their fifth anniversary. I can tell you, they also have a healthier relationship than some of my friends who were together for five – 10 years before getting engaged.

The Knot asked the question to Tammy Nelson, PhD, licensed relationship therapist, board-certified sexologist and author of The New Monogamy and Getting the Sex You Want.

“Many couples wait until they are ready to have children. Or they wait until ready to buy a home before they marry,” Nelson says. “There is no ‘normal.’ Partners may have an implicit expectation of the length of an engagement, based on their family, their culture and their community. Sometimes this is different for each partner. And if it is not significantly discussed in a very explicit way, it can lead to misunderstandings.”

On top of it all, I was in a relationship with someone for years and once we moved in together, found out they had a double life and were in fact not the person I knew. It was a total Khloe Kardashian situation. Except we had been together for years. My point? You can spend years with someone and find out you aren’t meant for one another. Just like you can be with someone for a short time and find out you are. Time has no difference in some situations. So, we come back to, how long should you wait to get engaged?

“There is no magic time frame when a couple should date before the engagement. But the rule for any happy and successful marriage is to realize this – all couples go through a ‘romantic love’ phase. This lasts anywhere from 2 days to 26 months, and then the couple will enter into the power struggle or the conflict phase of their relationship. This is natural and probably will last the rest of your marriage, or forever (the bad news). The good news—with conscious communication and planning, a successful marriage means that conflict is inevitable (it has absolutely no reflection on whether or not you are in a marriage that will last), but how you repair your conflict is much more important. Whether you are engaged, living together or married, work on healing your conflicts, create healthy communication and your relationship will last for the rest of your life together.”

According to Glamour, the quality of your time spent is more important than the quantity. If a couple is talking about deep serious shi*t with their lives, where they see themselves going and communicating what they want out of life, it may very well move way faster than others who need more time to open up.

Other psychologists say celebrities are constantly looking for ways to feel normal, and creating an engagement and love of a best friend makes them feel normal.

How long should you wait to get engaged? Glamour made a list of things you should at least answer yes to before getting getting engaged. I have to agree with the list.

Say “I love you” to one another, and mean it.

Meet close friends and family members.

Experience some sort of conflict to see how you both react to stress.

Disagree about something.

Know your partner’s core as a person.

Discuss your ideas about money, gender roles, and where you want to live.

Feel in your gut that you can trust this person.

You should both come first to one another.

Be able to speak openly and feel respected at all times.

Feel comfortable about your sexual compatibility and both feel satisfied.

If you answer no to any of these, I would say the time probably isn’t right. But let’s end the shaming. Mom shaming. Slut shaming. Wedding shaming. And … engagement shaming. What do you think, what time do you think is right to engage?

By Staci Wuokko